Blogfest Category Archive

Pitch U- Fractured Myths

FRACTURED MYTHS
83,000 WORDS
YA CONTEMPORARY ARTHURIAN

QUERY:
When sixteen-year-old fantasy enthusiast Alanna O’Connor sees Vikings, medieval knights, and mythological creatures appear in her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, she thinks it’s a miracle . . . until they try to kill her. At that moment, she no longer cares about her cancelled birthday plans, her latest tattoo, or even the charming teenage boy she met earlier. All her drama is cast aside as she fights for her life and sanity.

Alanna realizes that when she climbed the legendary mountaintop called Arthur’s Seat, she unwittingly helped open the doorway to Otherworld and unleashed the rampaging monsters. Terrified and plagued by guilt over the ensuing slaughter, she teams up with the one person she knows she can trust: the newly arrived (and completely baffled) King Arthur.

As they battle centaurs, goblins, and a red dragon, Alanna confronts the truth about what happened to King Arthur and the other characters while they were in Otherworld. Arthur has splintered memories from his legendary life that do not fit together into a single lifetime. He is a fictional version of himself and is as lost as anyone—a fractured myth who needs Alanna’s guidance as much as she needs his expertise. Alanna must put the pieces together and close the passageway between worlds before it is made permanent and Alanna’s city—if not all reality—is fractured beyond repair.

FIRST 150 WORDS:
Alanna O’Connor spun around, her long auburn hair taking sudden flight, and planted her thin palm against the castle’s sandstone wall, blocking Zoë’s path.
The steady procession up the castle walkway shifted uncertainly before circumnavigating the strange pair. Given the wide breadth underneath the massive stone arch, the tourists’ glaring condemnation seemed excessive, Alanna thought, especially the young boy’s—a snarled brow that screamed, Out of the way! You shouldn’t even be here!
But Alanna had good reason for her abrupt stop, and if she belonged anywhere, she felt certain it was at Edinburgh Castle.
“Wait a bloody second,” she said, ignoring the disgruntled pedestrians. She leaned in on Zoë, taking advantage of her position slightly uphill. “You mean you got zapped by lightning doing this? As in, you were setting up this same contraption we’re working with right now, thenBoom! God went Old Testament on you?”
Zoë tried skirting around, but Alanna anticipated every bob and weave and easily thwarted her older companion’s attempts.

Pitch T- A.K.A. Killer

A.K.A. KILLER
Contemporary YA Thriller
92,000 words

In sunny southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks, her killer SAT scores, and even her killer taste in shoes—but only her victims will know how killer she really is. Not that child rapists and murderers who beat the system every time deserve to be called “victims.”

Daughter to Orange County District Attorney Jane Rose and fallen SWAT Sergeant Jack Rose, Ruby not only knows the law, she believes in it. That is, until someone starts manipulating her into breaking it. Thinking a cryptic text message is from her high school crush, Liam Slater, asking her to Homecoming, Ruby heads down to the harbor. Instead of the lame trail of roses she’s expecting, she hears a child’s desperate call for help.  Someone has lured her here, and is forcing her to choose between letting an innocent girl die or committing “legally justified” murder to prevent it.

Torn between satisfaction that one less monster is roaming the streets and guilt for the blood on her hands, Ruby tries to find the real murderer behind it all. But in her search, the body count keeps rising, turning her into something she never dreamed possible: A teenaged serial killer. Ruby must find out who is using her and stop him before she finds herself walking death row, wearing one of those horribly baggy orange jumpsuits even Hollywood royalty can’t pull off. The closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a long-held family secret that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she’s ever held dear.

First 150 words:

Life shouldn’t involve so much calculation—and I’m not just talking algebra. I’m talking about the calculated, premeditated
avoidance of life. I didn’t need a 4.0 GPA to know that sneaking out of the city library at 9:00 on a Friday night didn’t win me any points on the SPA (Social Point Average), on which I was definitely flunking.

Pausing under the dark awning, I took a quick breath of briny ocean air to regain my bearings. The old parking lot fluorescents
flickered behind the suffocating fog, making it hard to tell if the rain was misting down from above or if it was coming in sideways from the shore. In any case, the blacktop lay slick, full of potholes, and speckled with math club kids who’d just love to report a sighting of Recluse Ruby Rose.

With a practiced stealth, I dashed through the night. Even in my new Prada Peep-Toe Pumps—a.k.a. my Penelopes—I had speed.

Pitch S- One Step Closer to Nowhere

One Step Closer to Nowhere
YA-Family Drama/Mystery
32,000

Query:
Petra Wilson is tired. She is tired of listening to everyone else’s problems. She has enough of her own. Her mom is dying, her younger sister is too smart for her own good, and no one knows where her younger brother is right now. Petra’s dad is long gone. Just as well. Petra is working two jobs, cleaning up everyone’s mess, but her own. She longs to leave, to travel, to go to school. There’s a boy, but that may lead to more problems. Everything seems to be pointing in one direction. Is death the easy way out?

Can Petra rely on anyone in her family to help her with the important decisions in her life? As Petra’s options dwindle, she discovers what she and her siblings are really made of and the depth of their love.

First 150 Words:
It’s not that I hate her, not really. It would just be easier if she would die. Her anger consumes her and it’s trying to devour me. It would just be easier if she would die, easier for me, easier for her, easier for everyone. Sometimes, this is the only thought that keeps me going. Someday she will die and I will be free.

It always makes me retch, these big emotional confrontations. I wonder what the neighbors must think as they see me hunched over at the curb, puking down the gutter. To hell with them. They never tried to help us anyway.

I can hear the slam of the screen door; almost hear the flutter as  flakes of paint fly off the sides of the door frame. I’m not getting up. I’m too tired to deal with Ricky’s shit on top of everything else. I don’t think I’m the one we have to worry about taking after her. That’s the nice thing about mental illness, doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman. Everyone is always watching me, to see if I will become her, but that isn’t the real issue.

Pitch R- Only Human

ONLY HUMAN
YA Thriller
59,000 words

QUERY:
Elaina Andrews never thought she would see her former best friend, Cole Hudson, again – not after he ditched her to join the “in” crowd in high school. However, one year after graduation, the two find themselves thrust together while on a camping trip with mutual friends…one of whom winds up brutally murdered. Isolated and alone in the wilderness, Elaina and Cole must work together to avoid becoming victims themselves. While dealing with the aftermath, Elaina realizes that there is much more to Cole than meets the eye. As they rekindle and mend an old friendship, a serial killer is still lurking in the background, waiting for that oh-so-perfect moment to strike.

FIRST 150:
My suitcases were empty. All of the belongings I would possibly need for the summer were tucked away neatly in the appropriate drawers that had been put to good use over the years, but had been neglected for quite some time now. As I sat on the bed in a room that hadn’t been inhabited in a year, though, I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that I was truly home. Not much had changed in my absence: the faded pink comforter on my bed was the same, pictures of old high school friends were still taped to my floor length mirror, and the white carpet was still plush and fluffy between my toes. And while I knew my parents would always welcome me into this house with eager and open arms, it no longer held that sense of this is where I belong. That saddened me.

Pitch Q- Podium Finish

Podium Finish
YA
91,000

Query:

Podium Finish tells the story of three Olympic Training Center roommates Alex Abrams, Harper Kavanaugh, and Elena Valdez in the 20 months leading up to the Games.

Alex, a former World Junior Champion figure skater, who has recently moved up to the senior level, comes from a family of perfectionists. There’s only one problem. She’s ranked seventh in the nation at the senior level. When a new venue and new coach prove not to be the antidote and with her relationship with her boyfriend steadily imploding, Alex is faced with a choice: stay a singles skater or switch to ice dance.

Harper Kavanaugh is the youngest member of Team USA hockey. When she breaks her knee during practice, her world is turned upside down even more once she realizes that her crush from physical therapy likes her back. Now she not only has to worry about healing in time for the Games, but also has to worry about something she finds even more terrifying: her first kiss.

After mistakenly drinking a protein shake with a banned substance, Elena Valdez is banned form competition for a year. With the ban now up, Elena is sent to train in Colorado Springs with one of the world’s best and toughest ski coaches and is thrown back into the world that led her to her downfall. She’s determined to make a comeback, but redeeming herself won’t be easy, especially if fellow skiers have anything to say about it.

While going through their own individual struggles, the girls develop a friendship none of them expected would form when they first met.

First 150 words:

Elena

Citius, Altius, Fortius: who knew three little words in a dead language could mean so much, and yet, they meant everything to me. They meant revenge and redemption, hope and heartache, but most of all, they meant forgiveness, being mija, Papi’s little girl, again.

Famosa. Famous. I’ve wanted to be the first Latina to own the slopes at the Olympics since I was four. I even used to dream of seeing my face on a McDonald’s cup or a Wheaties box. I think I’ve got the famous thing down, too. Nothing screams fame more than having your face plastered on seven different tabloid covers and making the national news in three countries.

Some people might think there is no such thing as bad press, but when you’re a month shy of your sixteenth birthday representing America on your first-ever World Cup skiing circuit and you fail a drug test, the result is a blizzard of bad press.